Elliott Ups Celesio Stake

Jan 21 2014 | 9:49am ET

Elliott Management is apparently not discouraged by the failure of McKesson Corp.'s bid for rival pharmaceutical distributor Celesio.

The activist hedge fund has increased its voting stake in Celesio to 24.08%. New York-based Elliott also owns convertible bonds, which come due in October and April 2018, which could increase its voting stake to 32.01%.

Elliott had agreed—after McKesson increased its US$8.3 billion offer for Celesio—to tender its shares and sell its convertible bonds. But in spite of Elliott's support, the offer failed to attract sufficient support and was withdrawn last week.

That sent Celesio shares down sharply, a move that Elliott appears to have taken advantage of. Prior to accepting McKesson's richer offer, Elliott indicated it was not concerned if the deal failed, saying that Celesio could sell its wholesale and pharmacy businesses separately.

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